God of Carnage

This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows

Previewed 7 March 2008, Opened 25 March 2008, Closed 14 June 2008 at the Gielgud Theatre in London

Yasmina Reza's play God of Carnage in London starring Ralph Fiennes, Tamsin Greig, Janet McTeer, Ken Stott.

What happens when two sets of parents meet up to deal with the unruly behaviour of their children? A calm and rational debate between grown-ups about the need to teach kids how to behave properly? Or a hysterical night of name-calling, tantrums and tears before bedtime? Boys will be boys, but the adults are usually worse - much worse.

Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage is translated by Christopher Hampton and directed Matthew Warchus with desigs by Mark Thompson, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker and music by Gary Yershon. This production reunites the entire award-winning creative team behind Yasmina Reza's hughly successful play Art which run for over six years in London's West End, and The Unexpected Man at the Duchess Theatre in 1998.

"God of Carnage is a hoot. Stripping the mask off the polite bourgeois face to reveal the snarling animal beneath, Yasmina Reza's standard trick, is hardly original, but it's entertaining... A cruel and sparkling text is helped by four immaculately dovetailed performances, finely controlled by Matthew Warchus's direction. Christopher Hampton has again translated [Yasmina Reza's] work (brilliantly) into a knockabout English satire" The Sunday Times

"Blisteringly funny as the piece is in Christopher Hampton's elegant translation, it stops short of the merciless laceration of Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? - theatre's most celebrated booze-fuelled marital slugfest. That is partly because Reza's ideas seem to be imposed on, rather than emerging from, her characters. Nor, as Albee succeeds in doing, and as Reza presumably intends, does the play become a metaphor for the decline and fall of Western civilisation. Instead, with her razor-sharp wit, Reza exposes the hypocrisy of the educated middle classes and the corpse that is their married life... Matthew Warchus's production sparks with high-voltage performances." The Mail on Sunday

Yasmina Reza was partly inspired to write The God of Carnage following a conversation she had with her own son: "One of his friends had had his tooth broken by another boy. The mother of my son's friend complained that the boy's parents hadn't even rung up to apologise. I don't know why but something just clicked."

Matthew Warchus, the director of God of Carnage in London, says: "What appeals to me about Yasmina Reza's plays is that she picks a tiny subject or situation, and from it reveals universal truths. She somehow manages to write epic drama from a miniature position... The kind of drama she's interested in is a world in which somebody vomits, or somebody draws a skier on a white painting, or enters a room and overhears something that they shouldn't have. In a way her plays remind me of Chekhov's."

God of Carnage in London at the Gielgud Theatre previewed from 7 March 2008, opened on 25 March 2008 and closed on 14 June 2008.